Happy Birthday, Sunny!

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Our sweet golden retriever turned four years old today! Happy birthday, Sunny! She has been a constant presence in our lives since the day she arrived. Over four years ago, we knew we wanted to get a puppy, but we had no idea how to go about it and what would be involved. We did some research and decided on the breed, and a little while later, my friend Lynn (who trailered the horses to our property) told me that her vet bred goldens. She gave me his name and number, and I realized it was the same vet who cared for Crimson at the end of his life. But I hadn’t been in touch with him since that time. When I called him in January, he said he was expecting a new litter in the spring, and that one of the puppies could be ours. We were elated! I think we’ll always remember getting the email that said the mama dog was going into labor on Easter, April 24, 2011. Sunny and several of her siblings were born late that night.

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We got to visit Sunny about a week after she was born, and a few more times before we brought her home. It was so fun to see her little round body.

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In June, we brought Sunny home. We set up a schedule for potty training — Sydney took the morning shift, we shared the day shifts, Joel took the late shift and I took the graveyard shift (I woke up in the middle of the night anyway, so why not?) Life was never the same. πŸ™‚

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Once the horses arrived, Sunny became a constant presence at the barn, although until recently she escaped most of the photo ops. Either she scampered away as we brought the horses into the aisle or we were simply focused on them instead of her. But no one has been more excited about the barn having new occupants than our sweet, somewhat crazy golden retriever.

Every morning, Sunny waits patiently on the back step for us to make our short trek down to the barn. Cinder, our outside cat, waits with her, but he’s happy to keep snoozing.

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The first few days at the barn, Sunny tried to steal anything that wasn’t too high for her to reach — a brush, a curry comb, a hoof pick, a spray bottle — anything she could get her mouth on. She also loved to sneak into the stalls for a bite of manure. I know — yuck!

Thankfully, my friend Karen has been training her to “leave it.” Turns out that Sunny is the easy one to train. The rest of our family (including me) struggle to be consistent. But we’re working on it.

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Sunny has no common sense whatsoever around horses. She walks directly behind them, likes to sniff their hooves and often runs into their stalls when they’re eating. Not smart. And I’m worried she’ll learn a very hard lesson one day.

But in the meantime, she’s enjoying getting to know Smokey and Foxie. And they are tolerating her.

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We’re so glad that Sunny is a part of our family! We look forward to many more animal-filled days.

 

 

 

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